Chile Con Queso – Mexican Cheese Dip Recipe

Chile con queso is the best spicy pepper and cheese dip. One of our favorite Mexican cheese dip recipes! Best to serve warm with corn tortilla chips or nachos.

It’s such an easy and delicious cheese dip for Game day or Mexican party. You can serve it on the side as appetizer with your favorite snacks.

Dipping tortilla chips in chile con queso in a blue bowl


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Homemade con queso is rich, creamy and full of flavor. Perfect recipe for nacho dip that serves up to 4 people.

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It is made without processed food and without meat. Our Mexican chile con queso recipe is gluten free and vegetarian.

If you are looking for homemade cheese dip, this Mexican chile con queso will be the best choice!

Chile con Queso is an easy Mexican cheese dip with chili pepper. Spicy and delicious party appetizer or side dish. Perfect to serve warm with tortilla chips or nachos.

What is chile con queso

Chile con queso can be also called simply queso, which translates from Spanish as cheese. So basically it is a warm side dish of melted cheese and chili peppers.

It is usually served in Tex-Mex restaurants as a dip for tortilla chips or nachos. As you can already guess, this spicy cheese dip is Mexican. Originally, it comes from northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.

I used chili flakes for topping the cheese dip. It’s optional, but the look and taste will benefit for sure!

How to make con queso from scratch

You don’t have to order takeout to have delicious Mexican cheese dip!

Let’s start with ingredients for Mexican queso. To make queso dip you will need cheese (I used yellow cheddar), cornstarch, unsalted butter, fresh and powdered garlic, onion, small tomato, canned marinated green chili, full fat heavy or whipping cream, cilantro or parsley, coriander powder, salt and chili flakes.

Ingredients for chile con queso: chpped onion and garlic, butter, spices, corn starch, chopped tomato, marinated chili, chopped parsley and shredded cheese.

To make Mexican queso from scratch, melt butter in a heavy bottom pan. Cook chopped onion and garlic, stirring until aromatic and translucent.

Chop small tomato and add to the pan, cook few minutes.

Add shredded cheddar cheese and cornstarch. Stir together with a spatula until cheese starts to melt.

Finally, add room temperature full fat heavy cream. Cook, stirring with your spatula until incorporated.

Add spices – ground coriander, garlic powder, salt. Add chopped green chili and chopped cilantro or parsley.

Cook on low, stirring few minutes until bubbly.

Serve warm with chili flakes on top and tortilla chips on a side!

Chile con Queso in a serving bowl with tortilla chips on a side.

What pepper to use for the recipe

I used marinated green chili pepper, cut finally. But you can use chopped fresh poblano, serrano, hatch or jalapeño, too. I think marinated or pickled pepper get more kick to the cheese dip!

You can also roast or grill fresh peppers, then cut them and add to queso dip. Discard the skin, if you will roast your peppers.

Variations of Mexican chile con queso

Chile con queso translates as pepper and cheese. So these are the main ingredients, but then you can customize it to your preferences or ingredients that you have on hand.

You can add chopped avocado, black beans, fajita meat or chopped chorizo to the queso, if you wish. But chile con queso doesn’t have to have meat in it. It’s the cheese dip with pepper!

Many recipes call for two types of cheese. You can substitute half of cheddar cheese with Monterrey Jack, cream cheese or white Mexican cheese (asadero). Usually white or yellow cheese is used for the queso recipe.

Try experimenting, but keep in mind that not all types of cheese melt together smoothly. That is when Velveeta comes in help. However, we are not fans of processed food. I recommend following my recipe and simply use yellow cheddar.

It is important that you shred cheese yourself, because it will give you smooth texture. Store-bought shredded cheese is good for pizza or salad, but not for dips.

Good thing is that you can customize this queso dip to you liking! There’s no ingredient (except cheese and pepper) that is a must here.

Holding tortilla chips, dipped in Mexican con queso.

What goes with Mexican cheese dip

This is our favorite queso dip to serve for nachos and tortilla chips. You can also dip crackers, pretzels, crisps, bread sticks or raw vegetables such as carrots or celery sticks.

Chile con queso will pair well with Buffalo cauliflower wings and Baked sweet potato fries.

Storing chile con queso

Chile con queso can last up to 3-4 days in the fridge in the closed container.

You can reheat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or on the stove, stirring until melted.

You can freeze it up to 2 weeks, but is won’t be as good as the fresh one. This is quite easy recipe, so better customize it according to the ingredients that you have.

Use your leftover cheese dip with pasta. And yes, you can eat your queso dip cold. But it will be hard to dip anything but spoon in the firm cheese.

Check also our easy pumpkin dip recipe!

Mexican recipes for party

By the way, you can make a Mexican party, using our delicious and hot recipes!

Start with spicy Mexican tortilla soup. It will warm you up and get some heat to the party.

Then make chicken enchiladas for dinner! Serve chile con queso with nachos or tortilla chips on the side. Or you can use this queso as a condiment for enchiladas.

Serve the Mexican food with tequila for adults or use our take on raspberry mojito mocktail to quench thirst.

If you make this Mexican cheese dip recipe, tag us to let us know. We love to see what you are snacking on! And don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook!

Chile con Queso dip in a blue bowl with tortilla chip.

Chile Con Queso - Mexican Cheese Dip Recipe

Cooking Journey
5 from 4 votes
Easy, flavorful and spicy cheese dip with chili. Perfect for dipping tortilla chips, nachos or raw veggies. You can serve it on the side as appetizer with your favorite snacks.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 17 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 142 kcal




Ingredients 

  • 2 cups yellow cheddar shredded (200 g)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • ½ tbsp butter unsalted (8 g)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ onion
  • 1 cup heavy cream full fat (200 ml) room temperature
  • 1 tomato small, chopped
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp coriander ground
  • ¼ tbsp green chili marinated or canned, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley or cilantro chopped
  • tsp salt
  • tsp chili flakes for decoration (optional)



Instructions
 

  • Place a heavy bottom pan on a medium heat. Add butter, heat until melted.
    Place a heavy bottom pan on a medium heat. Add butter, heat until melted.
  • Add chopped onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until aromatic and translucent.
    Add chopped onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until aromatic and translucent.
  • Add chopped small tomato to the pan. Cook few minutes.
    Add chopped small tomato to the pan. Cook few minutes.
  • Add shredded cheese, then corn starch. Stir everything with a spatula. Cook until cheese starts to melt and cornstarch is incorporated.
    Add shredded cheese, then corn starch. Stir everything with a spatula. Cook until cheese starts to melt and cornstarch is incorporated.
  • Add full fat heavy cream. Heat on low, carefully stirring until everything is incorporated and cheese melts smoothly.
    Add full fat heavy cream. Heat on low, carefully stirring until everything is incorporated and cheese melts smoothly.
  • Add spices - coriander, garlic powder, salt. Add chopped green chili.
    Add spices - coriander, garlic powder, salt. Add chopped green chili.
  • Add chopped cilantro or parsley. Stir to incorporate.
    Add chopped cilantro or parsley. Stir to incorporate.
  • Cook on low few minutes, stirring until smooth and bubbly.
    Cook on low few minutes, stirring until smooth and bubbly.
  • Let it cool couple minutes, transfer to the heat-proof dipping bowl. Sprinkle with chili flakes.
    Let it cool couple minutes, transfer to the heat-proof dipping bowl. Sprinkle with chili flakes.
  • Serve warm with tortilla chips for dipping!
    Serve warm with tortilla chips for dipping!



Notes

You can use other fresh or marinated jalapeno, serrano or poblano peppers instead of green chili.
Store in the fridge up to 3 days in closed container. Reheat about 2-3 minutes in microwave or in a pan on the stove.

Video

Keyword cheesy, easy, game day, gluten free, meat-free, party, vegetarian


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